Northern Light

Also from Issue 188

  • 2011 911 Turbo S
  • Exclusive: Singer 911
  • 911E Targa Restored
  • Petit Le Mans 2010
  • The first Petit
  • Uwe Gemballa: Porsche tuner missing
  • Buyers Guide: 928
  • Porsche Tractors
  • 2011 Boxster S
  • Collapsible spare tires
  • Buying used first-generation Cayennes
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356B Abarth Carrera 1
356B Abarth Carrera 2
356B Abarth Carrera 3
356B Abarth Carrera 4
356B Abarth Carrera 5
356B Abarth Carrera 6
356B Abarth Carrera 7

“He was so disgusted of the whole thing that he quit racing at the end of

the year,” relates Karlson. “He had won almost every race he started during his career, no matter what type of Porsche he drove, so the protests were a bit strange.” Dolling points to another possible factor: Hammarlund was offered an upper management position at Swedish BP, which may have contributed to his retirement from racing.

After lying dormant for a year, GTL 1008 was sold to Swedish auto collector and occasional racer Richard Cederlund. An amateur, he competed in local club events half-a-dozen times in 1964 with some success. Former Stockholm Sportvagnsklubb official Björn Bellander writes in his history of the group that Cederlund “…kept his cars for his children, but they were not interested.” After a divorce, his collection was sold.

1008 entered the consciousness of California restorer and vintage racer Steve Tillack in 1992, not long after he learned that the vast car collection of fugitive Swedish real estate financier Hans Thulin was being liquidated. While negotiating with Thulin’s creditor banks, Tillack was tipped off about another private collection. He had been looking for a GTL and had compiled a list of the known surviving chassis and where they were located.

“None of those in the States were for sale,” he recalls. “But then, by chance, I learned one of two cars in Sweden might be available.” A magazine ad described the car: “8th of 19, engine #92001, silver/black, 12,000 original km, two owners from new, Swedish World Championship car, factory sponsored. Museum stored for many years, still near show quality.”

Tillack contacted the Stockholm-based broker to learn more, and his contemporaneous notes summarized his findings: “Reputed works car used by factory and Swedish agent ScaniaBilar. Driven by CG Hammarlund, won numerous Swedish championships and Finnish GP, maintained by same mechanic from new. Represented as perfect original, 95 percent original paint, never crashed.” As their correspondence continued, Tillack received a large number of faxed documents and photographs, including several showing the car in street trim, wearing hubcaps. He promptly flew over to see the car.

Tillack made a total of three trips to Sweden, sometimes accompanied by Los Angeles Porsche expert Werner Schoch. He says a bizarre bidding war ensued, as two other bidders were interested. “The bank that held the title put us up in different hotels and spoke to us individually by telephone. I soon learned the other bidders were located across the Norrstrom River from my hotel — and we could all see one another’s rooms! I was able to make contact with them and, as we all were unhappy with the bid-by-phone arrangement, we agreed to meet the bank’s representative face-to-face. He was quite shocked when we all entered the room and sat down.”

Eventually, Tillack proved the successful bidder. Ocean shipment was arranged, with the car leaving Stockholm on April 7, 1992. Tillack met the containerized Porsche at the docks in Oakland, California on June 15. Once the car was in his Redondo Beach shop, it received a thorough inspection, which revealed worn-out shocks and front kingpin bushings.

Cosmetically, says Tillack, 1008 is close to original. He has only replaced some minor items such as taillight lenses, and he installed a new clutch. A close examination reveals interesting details. For example, there’s no evidence that the car was ever equipped with a roll-bar — an interesting omission considering Hammarlund’s concern for automotive safety.

CeGe raced in a different time, though. Tillack has resisted the urge to install a roll bar. Though the car has run a number of vintage races since its arrival in the U.S., he seems committed to maintaining 1008 as it was rather than how today’s sensibilities expect it to be.

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